Most of the blogs I read are written by people who have an undeterred faith in God despite the loss of their babies. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person in the world who questions life and God and religion and faith and everything since Finley died.
I was raised in a household that believed in God, though we weren’t church goers until I was around 12 or 13. We started going frequently and I became quite involved in the church, the youth group and the summer camps. I decided to get baptized at around 14, and I was really quite devout. I guess it never really occurred to me to question whether or not God existed, because I was raised to believe it was fact.
As I got older, life got busy and in the way of my ‘church life’. I became interested in science and had experienced quite a bit of difficulty in my life at a young age. I stopped calling myself religious, but still had ‘faith’ – whatever that may be.
I’ve always had a bit of an unwavering belief that if you are generally a ‘good’ person and if you got an education, made good decision, and did things ‘right’ that life would turn out well. I always did very well in school, kept my options open for university, had a lot of friends, was generous, outgoing, and involved in the community. Once I graduated high school, I went to uni because that was the next step. After a year I realised I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be, so I completed a post-secondary course to become a Medical Office assistant.
I’ve always worked hard. I’ve had a job pretty much continuously since I was 15. I was thriving and happy despite a lot of difficulties in my childhood.
I was always conscious of never getting pregnant before I was married. I had seen how things can be if you have babies when you aren’t ‘ready’ and I wanted to be sure I was in a committed relationship with somebody with similar goals so we could provide a stable upbringing for our children. I wanted to make sure that I could afford to provide for my children both physically and emotionally.
I knew that I had a passion for travel, which is what eventually led me to live in England. There are so many things that I wanted to do before I settled down – I didn’t want to have regrets.
After living and working successfully in another country across the world on my own, I knew that I could take care of myself. I didn’t have any doubt in my ability to thrive in any environment.
When I met my husband, as those who know us will attest, things moved rather quickly. I’m sure some people thought we were foolish, but sometimes you just know when it’s right. When we discovered he was being posted to Italy, for both of us marriage was the only option – we wanted to stay together. I had always been honest with him that I didn’t want to have children before I was married, and so when the wedding was booked and near, we made the decision to stop preventing pregnancy, but also not really trying.
Imagine our surprise when a month later we were newlyweds and I had a positive pregnancy test. It all happened so quickly that there were people joking about if we’d gotten married because I was pregnant. But that was never the case.
I knew we were lucky, because I’ve watched friends struggle with fertility problems. I knew how soul destroying that was. As we passed each milestone and each ultrasound, I really felt like it was all meant to be. I knew we’d be good parents, our child was planned for and would be well provided for. We were both ready to be parents, and we were excited.
Boom. Finley died.
That is literally how it felt. It was as though the wind had been knocked out of me with the suddenness of it all. And it left me questioning everything I’d ever believed.
How could this happen to us when there are people out there who have babies that they don’t take care of? That they don’t want? That they don’t devote enough time to?
How could I keep believing that making good decisions leads to the life that was planned, when you could never plan for your child to die?
How could I believe in a God who allows a mother to carry her baby to full term, to endure the pain of labour and birth, and a csection, only to take that baby away? And not only that, but to allow the mother to nearly die as well, meaning that she’d not get to spend that baby’s only few days on the earth with him. That is not a kind God, or a just God.
How could something so terrible happen to me? To us? Had we done something to deserve it?
And now I’m in a rut. I can’t help questioning everything.
Is there life after death, or once we die is that just it? And if there is no God, then where do we go if not to Heaven? I really am not sure. But then when I start thinking about Finley, the thought that it all just ends is too much. I like to think of his spirit somewhere. I like to imagine his playing with the other babies and children who died. I like to believe that when I die we will be together again.
But then I get scared. What if I’m kidding myself? What if I never get to be with him again? And I am afraid. Afraid to live and afraid to die and afraid of everything in between.
I can see the future that I want for my family – happiness despite our loss. Siblings for Finley. A big, busy, full house. I want a family.
But I am afraid to hope now. I had hope before and look how it turned out. I am afraid that if I let hope in again, even a little bit, that it leaves me vulnerable. If I start to make plans, and find a way to be happy again, then I am susceptible to more pain. And this pain is worse than anything I ever knew possible.
I guess at the moment I am not making plans and going after what I want, I am waiting to see what happens. That has never been the kind of person I have been. Ever. But this fall was too hard. Too big.
How do I get my faith back? Faith in anything? Faith in good? Faith in life? Faith in humanity?
How do those who remain faithful do it? How do you decide what you believe? How do you believe in anything at all when the world is so unpredictable?
I know this post probably makes me sound like a bit of a lunatic but the only things that are getting me through right now is daily routine and friends and family.